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Russia, Turkey, Iran Discuss Syria Cease-Fire In Kazakhstan Talks

Russia, Turkey, and Iran on February 6 discussed the implementation of the cease-fire they brokered in Syria and reportedly agreed to meet again later this month.

No documents were signed at the second round of Syria talks in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, where representatives of the United Nations were in attendance.

But the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said the February 6 session included discussions of the implementation of the cease-fire as well as a proposal from the Syrian opposition concerning the cessation of hostilities.

The first round of talks on January 23-24 failed to make progress toward a political settlement of the 6-year-old civil war, but the sides did agree to create a mechanism, called the Joint Operational Group (JOG), to monitor the fragile cease-fire in Syria.

The JOG includes experts from the three co-sponsoring countries.

"This is about creating a mechanism to control the implementation of the ceasefire," a Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying on February 6.

Moscow and Tehran back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government in the civil war, while Ankara supports the opposition.

An estimated 300,000 Syrians have been killed and millions have been displaced since 2011.

The head of the Russian delegation in Astana, senior military official Stanislav Gadzhimagomedov, said following the meeting that the sides had preliminarily agreed to meet again on February 15-16, Russia's state-owned TASS news agency reported.

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